18/5/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all

There are not many meetings left in our current season, so now is the time to look ahead.

Tuesday of next week we have the return of David Keep. 53 of you enjoyed his presentation via Zoom on sports photography recently and we had the most positive feedback of any presentation this year. I expect that his next evening on Underwater Photography, will be just as entertaining.

The week after – 2nd June – should have been our annual awards night. This is normally one of our high spots of the year with a chance to dress up and enjoy each other’s achievements and company. For obvious reason, this cannot proceed in its normal form this year. After talking to Nigel, we have decided to proceed with a virtual awards night in recognition of our members’ achievements over the year. On 2nd June we plan to run a Zoom meeting which will comprise of announcing the awards winners. In addition, we plan to project as many PDIs as time will permit covering the images that were awarded any place or commendation by the judges over the year. Whilst it will not be possible to make any physical presentations, we hope to do that in one of our meetings in the new season – self-isolation permitting.

That will then take us to the summer season. Obviously it is impossible to plan our normal meetings and get-togethers. It is possible that there may be some relaxation as the summer progresses, but we cannot plan for that. Using Zoom, we can keep our mutual interest in photography going – as no-one will be planning on taking their usual summer holidays or breaks to get in the way of our favourite pastime. 

We have a couple of ideas already to stimulate your interest on a Tuesday evening. As you are all aware, Jenny Webster has been awarded her EFIAP distinction – and deservedly so. She would like to do a presentation to the club on the process of achieving the MPAGB Distinction – Jenny is currently working towards that and it is achieved in a totally unique way. This is likely to take place on 16 June. Colin Close has also suggested the idea of a critique night – similar to the early session that he has run – whereby members can submit images for critique from other members online

We need your ideas. Can you think of an idea that would keep out members entertained on a Tuesday evening over the summer? Perhaps you would like to do a presentation on a subject that you enjoy photographing. Or are their any photo-editing tips that you would like to share with the rest of the members – this wouldn’t necessarily fill an evening, but if several members participated, it could be very useful. Have you an idea for a competition or project that would challenge our members? Please contact me if you have.

I would like to get the ball rolling with a project for Tuesday 9th June. I would like you to put together some images that represent what lock-down means to you – that took a long time to think about, didn’t it. However, I would like you to present three images as a panel. Ideally, the images should be linked in some way – by subject matter, colour scheme, shape, technique, etc. It could involve something that you have learnt or developed over the last 2 months – such as a new hobby or skill. Maybe a family member has achieved something worth recording – it doesn’t have to be anything major. How about wildlife or birds in your garden, or even your garden itself and how that has developed in lockdown. The subject matter is unimportant. What is important is that the images should be linked in some way – either by telling a story, or by a photographic technique or subject matter. The possibilities are endless. You have 3 weeks to get this together – the only rule is that the images should have been taken since 10th March – when we last met at Avoncroft. It’s not a competition, just a bit of homemade entertainment from our members. More details will follow in due course but you now have enough information to get started.

Ideas on a postcard please – that could go over the heads of younger members though.

See you tomorrow


11/05/2020 Vocal Point

Hi season is drawing to a halt, but the good stuff just keeps on coming.

The Annual PDI competition last week produced a very high standard of entry across the board. Congratulations to our award winners. I’m sure you can all agree that the standard of work has risen significantly over the course of our year. It is especially satisfying to see the development of our newer and novice members. I know that they will be a massive asset to the club in the coming years.

And the good news just keeps on coming. I am delighted to report that Jenny Webster has been awarded the EFIAP Distinction. This is a just reward for the passion and hard work that she has put into photography over the last few years.

Tomorrow evening we have the PAGB travelling portfolio. There are around 400 images featuring top club photographers from across the country, so we should be in for a treat. You should have already received your invitation to the Zoom meeting tomorrow. The audience will be free to participate by commenting on the images as they are projected. By making it interactive, we may not get through all the images – if not, then we can always feature the rest in our summer programme.  

Our AGM looms on Tuesday 19 May. You should receive the Agenda from our secretary today. However, there is still time to add any other business matters – if you have an item of business that you would like discussed – and have someone to second you – then please submit that to me by Friday midnight.

I also want to consider whether you feel that you can serve and support the society by becoming a committee member. We still have two vacancies for new members and I would urge you to give a small amount of your time to the running of our society. If you want any more details, or just a chat about whether it is right for you, then please either call me on 07948392328 or send me an email.

Well that’s all for today.

Best wishes


4/5/2020 Vocal Point

Hi all

Once again, I am pleased to report that last week’s meeting with David Boag was a massive success. We seem to have mastered using Zoom for our virtual meetings – this time we had 51 members “attending” for what was an entertaining meeting on Nature and Wildlife photography. David had a background dating back over 50 years in photography and depth of knowledge I could only envy.

This week is our Annual PDI competition – judged by Dave Lowe. Dave will have prejudged before the meeting and we will have the opportunity to hear his critique and advice on every image. I know we will have another good turnout for this one.

Yet to come – on 12 May we have the PAGB travelling portfolio. I have had a chance to preview many of the images, and I must say that they are stunning. There are around 400 images to enjoy on the evening.

The following week 19 May is our AGM – run as a virtual meeting on Zoom. You should have all already received advance information including forms for the election of committee members and proposals for consideration on the evening.

As I said before, we are always looking for new blood on the committee.  If you feel that you could be of service to your society, but are unsure about how to get a proposer and seconder to put yourself forward, then please have a word with me – don’t miss out on this opportunity to help take Bromsgrove Photographic Society forward through these testing times. This includes relatively new members – I only joined the society less than four years ago – newer members often bring fresher ideas.

See you all tomorrow and good luck in the competition.


Vocal Point 26/04/2020

Hi all

Many of you will be aware of this already, but our newer members may not be familiar with all of our recent history. It is now a year since we lost our Chairman Roger Lewis and his wife Gail in a tragic accident. Gail and Roger worked hard in the previous 3 years to develop Bromsgrove Photographic Society and make it the success it became, with membership reaching new heights.

The challenge to your committee in the past 12 months has been to carry on with this legacy. It is ironic that 12 months on we are facing yet more serious challenges to how we function. The past two weeks have shown that it is possible to run very successful presentations with online technology. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and it lacks the atmosphere and ambience of meeting at Avoncroft, but there is no doubt that it is the way forward until we leave lockdown. Around 50% of members have participated in these meetings, and the feedback has been almost exclusively positive. So, if you haven’t tried it already, then give it a go. This week we have a wildlife presentation from David Boag. David has been a professional wildlife photographer for over 40 years. You only have to look at his website to see the quality of the images that we can expect to see on Tuesday – http://naturalfocus.co.uk/  He is based in Dorset – one silver lining to the current situation is that we can use Zoom to bring presentations to you that may have been unavailable in the past – either due to cost or geographical location.

You will be aware that our AGM is scheduled for 19 May – just over 3 weeks away. We will be discussing the logistics of this at our committee meeting tomorrow night, and I will send further communications after this to let you know how we intend to proceed.

Finally, have you set yourself any photographic challenges during lockdown Mine has been to improve on my photo-editing. I often look in envy at the quality of work that we see on a Tuesday night, so I am swotting up on Affinity photo with a view to improving my own standards. We have a huge library of information and skills available to us on the internet at no additional cost – let’s not waste it.

Keep well


Chairman’s message 21/04/2020

What a great talk we have just had from David Keep thi sevening, watched by at least 40 members – a great turnout under lockdown circumstances.

Apologies everyone, but I made the wrong announcement for next week – it is a talk by David Boag. The Annual PDI competition is in two weeks time.

See you all next week.


Vocal Point 19/04/2020

Hi all

I hope that you are all remaining healthy and coping with the pressures associated with self-isolation. BPS is working hard to bring you some entertainment on your Tuesday evenings whilst you are confined to home and garden.

Last Tuesday we had an excellent presentation from Tony Gervis – using Zoom conferencing. Close to 50% of the membership “attended” – which isn’t far of our normal Tuesday evening turnouts. We did experience some minor technical difficulties, however, this in no way detracted from an entertaining presentation. Tony focused on images that he had taken close to home over recent years – an excellent reminder of how it is possible to take good photos without travelling to exotic places. This is very relevant as even if social distancing is lifted soon, who knows when we can start to travel further afield in this country or abroad. Many thanks Tony for keeping us entertained.

This week, we have another treat with an online presentation from David Keep ARPS, DPAGB, FBPE, AFIAP. David has been quick of the mark to set up Zoom presentations to photography clubs. His photographic interests are multi-talented and we have opted for a sports presentation. It is well worth looking at his website before Tuesday – not only will you see some great images, but in many cases, you can link to an explanation of how the image was taken. Look at  https://www.davidkeepphotography.co.uk/ for more information.

The committee are working hard to keep BPS active during this difficult time. If you have any ideas for the rest of this season or the summer season, then please let us know. Also, we have a committee meeting via Zoom on 27th April – if there are any items you would like raised, then please let me know ASAP

Good health and best wishes to you all.


Vocal Points 05/04/2020

Hi all

I hope we have all had time now to adapt to a new level of normality and the challenges it is bringing. My challenge to you is to keep your photographic interest going while developing your skills. I know you will all be missing our Tuesday night get together, but all is not lost, the club is working to keep you entertained in many ways. Our Annual PDI competition should run as scheduled, we may be able to run the PAGB Portfolio as per your handbook and our AGM will run in a suitable format. So how will we fill the remaining evenings? 

1.  Many thanks to Nigel and our competition judge Phil Cooling for allowing our set subject competition to continue in a PDI version. The standard of the images was as high as ever and the judge’s comments and decisions were entertaining – certain members may have their reservations about not being that sharp, plus one would look better in a flowing dress. I know Nigel faced many challenges in getting the finished article to the members, but it was worth it in the end. Great work Nigel.

It is also our hope that we can run our Annual PDI competition on 5 May – we are looking at the possibility of running this “live” on Zoom. I will return to Zoom later. The Annual Print Competition will have to wait for obvious reasons but it is our intention to run it before the start of the new season – circumstance permitting.

2.  Jan is actively looking at the possibility of running remote lectures from a choice of speakers – once again “as live” if possible on Zoom. We are aiming to fill 3 or more evenings with this.

3.  If you are not a member of our Facebook page then visit it now and join on  https://www.facebook.com/Bromsgrovephotographicsociety/  

This weekend Beks is running a competition challenge for everyone – set subject Back Garden and it is an image that must be taken this weekend. The weather is fabulous, so there is no reason for not participating – all for fun.

4.  Thanks to Colin for keeping us up to date with hints and tips. Please feel free to contribute – either with your own tips or by directing us to useful webpages that may help us.

5. I’ve mentioned Zoom before. It appears to be this best way to allow all our members to interact live on a virtual club night. I realise that some members may have reservations about using such technology, however, the plus side is that it allows the club to continue providing a service to any of our members that wish to participate. Without such technology, we would be unable to keep any form of club events going in the current circumstances. Richard will be running the Zoom account and in due course, you will receive further information on how to participate.

6.  I challenge you all to look upon this as an opportunity to improve your photography. You have had some excellent early sessions from Tony, Beks and Colin. Now is the time to put those tips into action. Take your camera out when you take your daily exercise session, look for ideas in your garden or even in the house. If there is some technique you have forgotten or would like to learn then put out a plea for help or advice. Don’t be afraid to ask – giving advice can be just as stimulating as receiving it.

7.  Above all, remember why you became interested in photography and why you joined Bromsgrove Photographic Society. Photography should bring pleasure and joy, it’s not a chore. Anything that takes our minds away from the dark side of life at the minute should be embraced.

Good luck and good health to you all.


Vocal Point 29/03/2020

Hi all

We all have our own way of dealing with the current health issues and restrictions. You only have to look at social media to see how inventive people are becoming at entertaining family and keeping in touch with friends and loved ones. Please keep sharing and keep the ideas coming. By doing so we will bring a new level of sanity to our restricted lives. Let’s look out for each other – there may be fellow members who are totally restricted to home and would appreciate a chat, or just a few groceries brought back from the shop. We don’t have to face this in isolation, even if we are self-isolating. Just last night Anne and I and two other members spent 2 1/2 hours in each others’ company in a virtual pub. It was silly – and yes there was some drink involved – but thanks to Alexa (other brands are available), it was a lot of fun.

There is an enormous conflict between the need to keep our social distancing whilst at the same time trying to hang on to our free will. It is not for me to repeat any advice – I will leave that to the government and medical experts. Understandably, some of us will look for ways to expand our horizons – especially when we are all so passionate about photography and the great outdoors. The point of my message is that Bromsgrove Photographic Society cannot sanction or condom any outings or get-togethers for photographic or other purposes. I will pass no judgement on any plans that you will make as individuals – however, BPS cannot allow any use of our social media to arrange such plans. If any individuals get together for any reason it will be your own responsibility. Our insurance cover will not protect you or any 3rd party in any way. I would also say that our club name cannot be connected to any such arrangements. Our reputation and good name in the future may rely upon that. Should anyone wish to keep in contact with other members and make any such plans, then we must ask that you do that through private messaging, and not through the club’s email groups or social media outlets. Exchange of contact details is always permitted, but it should stop there. I’m sorry that I am coming across as the BPS Grinch two days in a row, but we have that responsibility to the club’s reputation and future.

And – in other news – this week we have our set subject Print competition. Well done to Nigel for ensuring that this will continue through remote judging. We will also do our best to run our Annual competitions if at all possible. We are also looking at the possibility of future speakers doing some sort of presentation online, so watch this space. Looking ahead we will need to ensure that our AGM and Awards nights can proceed remotely. Nothing concrete yet, but watch this space.

Sorry about the diatribe this week. Best wishes and good health to you all.

Excellent news from two of our members.

Jenny Webster has been awarded an EPSA Distinction from the American Photography Society at the 3rd level. The requirements for this are massive – 700 images accepted not just once but 3 times – a total of 2100 acceptances. This is a huge achievement.

And, to keep the good news going Julie Hall has now been awarded the BPE 2Crown. This requires 50 acceptances in BPE competitions. Once again, massive, and something to be very proud of.

Well done to you both.


Vocal Point 24/03/2020

Hi all

I hope you are keeping well. It’s a difficult time for everyone and the pressure on family life, jobs and finances is enormous. It really is a time to put community before self, with the knowledge that things will eventually get better.

On top of everything else I have the sad news to pass on that one of our members – Les Ladbury – has passed away. Mainly of you will remember the excellent presentation he did as part of our member’s evening last autumn. We haven’t seen him in recent weeks due to ill health. His death is not related to Covid19. Our thoughts are with his wife Anne at this sad time

I don’t think that there is anything I can do to lighten the mood this evening. However, by way of distraction, you may want to respond to and participate in Tony Gervis’s offer to critique your images.

Best wishes


Vocal Point 16/03/2020

Hi all 

Another week and the world seems to be just a little bit crazier. We are very mindful that what is happening at the minute has the potential to affect our daily lives – and that includes our society. Currently, we intend to carry on with our meetings as normal, whilst taking sensible precautions. Government policy (rightly or wrongly) – is for individuals to take precautions for their own welfare.  We realise that some of our more elderly members will be very concerned and understand their predicament. If anyone has strong feelings about how our society should act in this situation, then please let me know.

On a lighter note – has anyone been watching Age of the Image on BBC. It contains some wonderful and thought-provoking images from history, but also touches on the power of images to influence and manipulate people. I watched the second episode on catchup last night. Many of you will be familiar with Robert Capa – amongst other things he took some images of D-Day in 1944 – he was actually on the beach whilst the worst of the action was taking place. There are 11 images from that day – it should have been 110, however, a lab technician destroyed the remainder during processing It makes you think. Nowadays a single photographer would have taken thousands, but that just wasn’t possible for Capa.

This week we have the MCPF Portfolio. This is based on 2018 and has been travelling around the clubs in the Midlands ever since. The first half will be prints, followed by PDIs after the break. It should be good, so I hope to see you all then.

Best wishes